by Donella Hosten
“Celebrating our Achievements with Pride, looking to the future with renewed vigour and passion to succeed”, was the theme chosen to celebrate the more than 800 IMANI graduates at the National Stadium on Thursday, 7 December 2016.
Ms Jacinta Joseph, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs, in her brief welcome remarks, congratulated the IMANI trainees who have embraced the opportunity to change their lives. She said they have accomplished a milestone, which “we hope many more young Grenadians will emulate.”
According to Ms Joseph the New IMANI Programme is at the holistic development of our young men and women throughout the nation through the creation of opportunities for their economic and social development, and she believes this programme has saved a number of youth from a life of ‘nothingness.’
Giving the Feature Address at the graduation was Mr Claude Douglas. Upon congratulating the graduates, he urged and encouraged them to be strong, mentally and physically, because “life is punctuated with tests.” He admonished them to have the vigour and passion if they want to succeed, and no matter what obstacles come in their way, they need to keep moving forward.
Briefly addressing the graduates was Hon. Roland Bhola, Minister for Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs. He encouraged them to understand the roles they play in their respective communities. Minister Bhola also questioned the vision they had for themselves. “If you do not have a vision for an improved and better life for yourself, you would remain in the same position that you are today.”
During the ceremony, there were testimonies given by students whose lives were positively transformed upon entering the New IMANI Programme. One student, Timothy Leggard from the sister isle of Carriacou, expressed his gratitude to the Government and the Ministry of Youth. In sharing his story, he revealed that he was on a bad path in life, and being a part of the Programme helped to shape him to who he is now. Leggard said he has dreams of being an international entrepreneur.
Awards were also presented to trainees who performed exceptionally well at their respective places of employment.